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GASabresIUFAN

2019-2020 Lineup

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8 hours ago, Pimlach said:

My fear for Cozens is the same as for Grigerinko.  Playing him too soon is bad for his development so don’t  force him to soon.  

I just don’t see Mitts as a 2C, his game is not there, we need to replace ROR somehow  - trades are possible   

No problem if Tage/Nylander/ Olofsson are ready to emerge, in fact we need it.     

Kids play in the NHL at that age, especially if they are physically mature enough to handle it. Now if you really believe he can be a Center, then yes you send him back but not if he projects as a RW.  Let the top 3 guys at camp win the spot, no matter their age or experience.

I agree about Casey but with the roster the way it is today, you don`t have much choice.

You are right.  All 3 need to contribute.

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1 hour ago, Crusader1969 said:

Kids play in the NHL at that age, especially if they are physically mature enough to handle it. Now if you really believe he can be a Center, then yes you send him back but not if he projects as a RW.  Let the top 3 guys at camp win the spot, no matter their age or experience.

I agree about Casey but with the roster the way it is today, you don`t have much choice.

You are right.  All 3 need to contribute.

Interesting topic.  My answer is generally yes to this.  There are cases were I would say no.  I mentioned Grigorenko.   Tage and Mitts  could have benefited from time in the AHL last year.  Either we are going to develop players or we are going to throw them out there into a weak line up and hope for the best. 

Botrill needs to bring in a real 2C and a top 6 winger if we are going to make strides this season. Hoping that Olofsson, Nylander, and Tage get better is not enough.  Our division is tough and getting tougher.  Detroit and Florida are improving.  

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I remember when Vegas was on its big run to the finals and everybody noticed how fast they played as a team - harassing the puck carrier when they didn’t have the puck and moving it in transition when they did. It was painful to see how the Sabres compared.

I also remember pointing out how nearly everyone on that team was in their mid- to late-20s - in other words, their prime - while we had virtually no one in that window.

For those who think Botterill doesn’t have a vision or a plan, consider his acquisitions over the past year:

Sheary: 27 and skates like a greyhound

Skinner: 27, a puckhound and one of the prettiest skaters you’ll see

Wilson: 27, good skater and forechecker

Montour: 25, outstanding skater who excels at springing and joining the rush.

Miller: 26, outstanding skater who excels at springing and joining the rush.

Vesey: 26, fast, goes hard to the net.

Johansson: 28, a good skater whose greatest strength is in transition

To acquire the above, he has moved out just two actual skaters: Guhle and Pu. Neither is a proven NHLer.

The man is methodically building a very specific type of hockey team and he is trying to make it deeper and better now without sacrificing the future.

(Hate to bring the ROR trade into this, but it sticks out even more as an odd one when viewed against this backdrop).

Edited by dudacek

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3 hours ago, dudacek said:

I remember when Vegas was on its big run to the finals and everybody noticed how fast they played as a team - harassing the puck carrier when they didn’t have the puck and moving it in transition when they did. It was painful to see how the Sabres compared.

I also remember pointing out how nearly everyone on that team was in their mid- to late-20s - in other words, their prime - while we had virtually no one in that window.

For those who think Botterill doesn’t have a vision or a plan, consider his acquisitions over the past year:

Sheary: 27 and skates like a greyhound

Skinner: 27, a puckhound and one of the prettiest skaters you’ll see

Wilson: 27, good skater and forechecker

Montour: 25, outstanding skater who excels at springing and joining the rush.

Miller: 26, outstanding skater who excels at springing and joining the rush.

Vesey: 26, fast, goes hard to the net.

Johansson: 28, a good skater whose greatest strength is in transition

To acquire the above, he has moved out just two actual skaters: Guhle and Pu. Neither is a proven NHLer.

The man is methodically building a very specific type of hockey team and he is trying to make it deeper and better now without sacrificing the future.

(Hate to bring the ROR trade into this, but it sticks out even more as an odd one when viewed against this backdrop).

What does that tell you.  It tells me there is so much more to this story.  No way someone as methodical as JBot trades away ROR without being told to move him out.

As to the lineup

Jeff Jack Vesey

Olofsson Johansson Reinhart

Sheary Mitts Nylander/Thompson/KO

Girgensons ERod/Larsson Thompson/KO/Smith

Wilson Routsalainen/Larsson Sobotka

More moves are coming.  The bolded guys are making this team.  The rest, who knows although I think Jbot likes ERod.

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

What does that tell you.  It tells me there is so much more to this story.  No way someone as methodical as JBot trades away ROR without being told to move him out.

As to the lineup

Jeff Jack Vesey

Olofsson Johansson Reinhart

Sheary Mitts Nylander/Thompson/KO

Girgensons ERod/Larsson Thompson/KO/Smith

Wilson Routsalainen/Larsson Sobotka

More moves are coming.  The bolded guys are making this team.  The rest, who knows although I think Jbot likes ERod.

Why not? People make mistakes. Even the smartest people make poor judgment calls. Botterill isn't the patron saint of perfection. 

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

What does that tell you.  It tells me there is so much more to this story.  No way someone as methodical as JBot trades away ROR without being told to move him out.

As to the lineup

Jeff Jack Vesey

Olofsson Johansson Reinhart

Sheary Mitts Nylander/Thompson/KO

Girgensons ERod/Larsson Thompson/KO/Smith

Wilson Routsalainen/Larsson Sobotka

More moves are coming.  The bolded guys are making this team.  The rest, who knows although I think Jbot likes ERod.

I have almost the same line-up in mind. Except maybe Rodrigues at 3RW. 

Have to get through all the threads, but I feel like Vesey is a near lock for first crack at 1RW, currently as things stand, no? We are looking at Reinhart and Okposo as our set RWs right now (Nylander and Thompson may not make the team), and as I mentioned potentially Rodrigues. But I don't think we want KO or EROD on line 1, and we know Reinhart should be on his own line. 

Even if Johansson plays wing, he's been at LW. Sheary was mentioned as someone who could slide over, but Vesey must be one of those left-shots that can do that too, having played primarily RW the last two seasons.

Think it's Vesey's spot to lose at this point.

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1 hour ago, TrueBlueGED said:

Why not? People make mistakes. Even the smartest people make poor judgment calls. Botterill isn't the patron saint of perfection. 

Not to mention that if the narrative is that he is acquiring fast, quick skaters(which I believe he is) that is not ROR’s strong suit. Mind you, I wouldn’t have traded him but a great skater he is not.

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35 minutes ago, tom webster said:

Not to mention that if the narrative is that he is acquiring fast, quick skaters(which I believe he is) that is not ROR’s strong suit. Mind you, I wouldn’t have traded him but a great skater he is not.

Until he signs a LT deal, I am always of the mind that there's at least a chance Reinhart is moved for similar reasons. Not that I'd want that to happen.

It may even factor in to why he was bridged (easier to trade if necessary?). If not, it was a mis-fire of a contract where a strong value deal was probably to be had, and his style as a player may have factored in in much the same way as it may have for ROR.

Edited by Thorny

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12 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Until he signs a LT deal, I am always of the mind that there's at least a chance Reinhart is moved for similar reasons. Not that I'd want that to happen.

It may even factor in to why he was bridged (easier to trade if necessary?). If not, it was a mis-fire of a contract where a strong value deal was probably to be had, and his style as a player may have factored in in much the same way as it may have for ROR.

I really don't want to trade Reinhart. Seems to go against what we're trying to build here. I don't want to trade Risto either but willing to for the right deal. At this point it would have to add measurably to our scoring. 

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16 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Until he signs a LT deal, I am always of the mind that there's at least a chance Reinhart is moved for similar reasons. Not that I'd want that to happen.

It may even factor in to why he was bridged (easier to trade if necessary?). If not, it was a mis-fire of a contract where a strong value deal was probably to be had, and his style as a player may have factored in in much the same way as it may have for ROR.

I think Sam was bridged to force him to step up and contribute consistently.  Also it allowed Jbot to get to 2020-21 for cap reasons when 24 mill in expendable players like Bogo, Scandella, Sobotka and others come off the books.

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I've been trying to concoct a lineup based on the pieces they have right now and, frankly, it's almost impossible to find a reasonable combination. I don't think GMJB is done. Vesey always seemed like it was a handshake deal that he wanted to wait on while he worked on other things first. Maybe he's already got that with another move or two?

I also think, despite the fact that he's played wing almost exclusively for the last several seasons, Johnasson has to play center for the group they have right now. Other moves can change that, though.

Based on what they have:

Skinner - Eichel - Olofsson

Vesey - Johansson - Reinhart

Sheary - Mittelstadt - Okposo

Sobotka - Girgensons - Rodrigues

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The best 12 I have are:

Skinner - Eichel - Olofsson

Johansson - Mittelstadt - Reinhart

Sheary - Rodrigues - Vesey

Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo

This could, in theory, work if Mittelstadt and Olofsson take big enough steps in their development.

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51 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Until he signs a LT deal, I am always of the mind that there's at least a chance Reinhart is moved for similar reasons. Not that I'd want that to happen.

It may even factor in to why he was bridged (easier to trade if necessary?). If not, it was a mis-fire of a contract where a strong value deal was probably to be had, and his style as a player may have factored in in much the same way as it may have for ROR.

I would hope that JBOT, while having a template in mind is also flexible enough to understand that some players transcend the model.

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Not a lineup, but a depth chart:

Skinner Eichel Reinhart

Vesey ??? Johansson

Sheary Mittelstadt Rodrigues

Girgensons Larsson Okposo

Dahlin Ristolainen

McCabe Montour

Scandella Miller

(Spares on NHL deals: Sobotka, Wilson, Elie, Lazar, Bogosian*, Nelson, Hunwick, Hammond)

(Prospects with a shot: Thompson, Olofsson, Nylander, Ruotsalainen, Asplund, Smith, Pilut*, Borgen)

*IR

 

If there was ever a team poised to package a defenceman and a winger for a 2nd line centre, it’s us.

Botterill is making that trade away from finishing what he had to do this off-season.

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13 hours ago, Hoss said:

I've been trying to concoct a lineup based on the pieces they have right now and, frankly, it's almost impossible to find a reasonable combination. I don't think GMJB is done. Vesey always seemed like it was a handshake deal that he wanted to wait on while he worked on other things first. Maybe he's already got that with another move or two?

I also think, despite the fact that he's played wing almost exclusively for the last several seasons, Johnasson has to play center for the group they have right now. Other moves can change that, though.

Based on what they have:

Skinner - Eichel - Olofsson

Vesey - Johansson - Reinhart

Sheary - Mittelstadt - Okposo

Sobotka - Girgensons - Rodrigues

Botterill probably still looking for another move. As is I still think overall he's improved the roster and hopefully further development of some of our young guys will be significant improvement. Goaltending is not being discussed but could be the make or break of how much improved we'll be record wise.

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@dudacek

Why no Johansson at center? It seems to me he was signed to play 2C.

We had about $17 mill in cap space entering the off-season and Jbot has spent it plus.

We have 3 important RFAs to re-sign (Ullmark, Erod, and McCabe) all with arbitration rights - Cost here will be about 6 mill or more.  All still unsigned.

We had 2 expendable RFAs in Girgensons and Larsson.  However Z has re-signed at 1.6 mill

Jbot then signed or acquired Vesey (2.275). Miller (3.875) and Johansson (4.5). That's 10.6 mill additional cap hit.

The sigings/trades bolstered our D, improved our depth at wing and gave us a new 2C.  This was the off-season plan.  Other then getting rid of a player or two such as Wilson and Hunwick, my guess is Jbot is done.

I will be genuinely surprised if Risto is traded away at this point. I wonder if he kept Risto partially because Bogo's medical reports aren't looking good. 

 

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14 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

@dudacek

Why no Johansson at center? It seems to me he was signed to play 2C.

We had about $17 mill in cap space entering the off-season and Jbot has spent it plus.

We have 3 important RFAs to re-sign (Ullmark, Erod, and McCabe) all with arbitration rights - Cost here will be about 6 mill or more.  All still unsigned.

We had 2 expendable RFAs in Girgensons and Larsson.  However Z has re-signed at 1.6 mill

Jbot then signed or acquired Vesey (2.275). Miller (3.875) and Johansson (4.5). That's 10.6 mill additional cap hit.

The sigings/trades bolstered our D, improved our depth at wing and gave us a new 2C.  This was the off-season plan.  Other then getting rid of a player or two such as Wilson and Hunwick, my guess is Jbot is done.

I will be genuinely surprised if Risto is traded away at this point. I wonder if he kept Risto partially because Bogo's medical reports aren't looking good. 

 

Johansson doesn't primarily play center from what I understand, he plays primarily LW. To myself in any event, Marcus Johansson was brought in as a depth LW'er.

Jbot isn't remotely done given the lack of cap space to get Ullmark, McCabe, Larsson and Erod signed. These guys aren't going to sign for 1.5 million each, and we only have roughly 6.5 million in cap space. Combine that information with the reports that Buffalo was talking to Gardiner's camp and it's easy to see one of the LD's is on the way out.

Further combine that with Risto, Bogo, Montour and Miller on the RHD's, that's 4 NHL caliber players right there, Miller most certainly wasn't brought in to sit in the press box, neither was Montour. What? Are we going to sit 5.4 mil Risto or 5.25 mil Bogo in the press box? I don't think so, one of these guys is gone, and given Bogo's injury status, Risto is odd man out imo.

As for the forward ranks, way to many bodies, with the youth pushing as well as the signings. Something is going to give. I see 5, potentially 6 players between defense and forwards on the move before all is said and done, because we don't have a 2c yet.

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17 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

@dudacek

Why no Johansson at center? It seems to me he was signed to play 2C.

We had about $17 mill in cap space entering the off-season and Jbot has spent it plus.

We have 3 important RFAs to re-sign (Ullmark, Erod, and McCabe) all with arbitration rights - Cost here will be about 6 mill or more.  All still unsigned.

We had 2 expendable RFAs in Girgensons and Larsson.  However Z has re-signed at 1.6 mill

Jbot then signed or acquired Vesey (2.275). Miller (3.875) and Johansson (4.5). That's 10.6 mill additional cap hit.

The sigings/trades bolstered our D, improved our depth at wing and gave us a new 2C.  This was the off-season plan.  Other then getting rid of a player or two such as Wilson and Hunwick, my guess is Jbot is done.

I will be genuinely surprised if Risto is traded away at this point. I wonder if he kept Risto partially because Bogo's medical reports aren't looking good. 

 

And if Bogo is on LTIR there is your cap space to sign the arbiters.

My guess is MoJo plays center this year.  Vesey moves to Jacks wing but Ollie plays it on power-play and Mitts is 3rd center this year.  I am thinking 2nd line of Sam, Mojo and and Ollie. The wings could be moving parts though to see who meshes the best.  Jack and Skins are tied together but the rest?? 

I like a fourth line of KO, Girgs and Larsson.  Agreed there are a few too many bodies.  Boat is sent down unless there is an injury and if he leaves I like Smith's and Asplund's games enough for call ups.  My question is if TT with added weight and strength or a motivated (big if) Nyls pushes someone like Sheary or Erod out. Sheary would be my first to send down.  

On D I still think Borgen pushes for a spot.  Dahlin-Montour,  Risto-McCabe, Miller-Borgen I like and after that I dont care who gets sent down or traded... that looks solid. If Risto and hopefully Scandella are moved Id be more inclined to take picks unless a 2C highly doubtful becomes available.  Hunwick will either be sent down and I am not sure about Nelson..  he is a good utility D to have.

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11 minutes ago, Scottysabres said:

Johansson doesn't primarily play center from what I understand, he plays primarily LW. To myself in any event, Marcus Johansson was brought in as a depth LW'er.

Jbot isn't remotely done given the lack of cap space to get Ullmark, McCabe, Larsson and Erod signed. These guys aren't going to sign for 1.5 million each, and we only have roughly 6.5 million in cap space. Combine that information with the reports that Buffalo was talking to Gardiner's camp and it's easy to see one of the LD's is on the way out.

Further combine that with Risto, Bogo, Montour and Miller on the RHD's, that's 4 NHL caliber players right there, Miller most certainly wasn't brought in to sit in the press box, neither was Montour. What? Are we going to sit 5.4 mil Risto or 5.25 mil Bogo in the press box? I don't think so, one of these guys is gone, and given Bogo's injury status, Risto is odd man out imo.

As for the forward ranks, way to many bodies, with the youth pushing as well as the signings. Something is going to give. I see 5, potentially 6 players between defense and forwards on the move before all is said and done, because we don't have a 2c yet.

Johansson has played most of his career at center, especially when he played in Wash.

Don't believe rumors about the Sabres.  Jbot is very good at keeping his business out of the media.  I doubt wants to add someone as defensively challenged as Gardiner to our lineup. Also don't be locked in to a D slot just because someone is right or left handed.  Most teams in the NHL have guys who play on their opposite side.  Also Bogo's status is an unknown to us but not to Jbot.  Why would he move out Risto if he can keep him under the cap and he knows that Bogo isn't going to be healthy?  It's easier to send down Hunwick and Wilson to get back to the cap and keep your depth.

If Bogo proves healthy you move him to LD and trade Scandella for a pick or prospect. 

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Johansson has played most of his career at center, especially when he played in Wash.

Don't believe rumors about the Sabres.  Jbot is very good at keeping his business out of the media.  I doubt wants to add someone as defensively challenged as Gardiner to our lineup. Also don't be locked in to a D slot just because someone is right or left handed.  Most teams in the NHL have guys who play on their opposite side.  Also Bogo's status is an unknown to us but not to Jbot.  Why would he move out Risto if he can keep him under the cap and he knows that Bogo isn't going to be healthy?  It's easier to send down Hunwick and Wilson to get back to the cap and keep your depth.

If Bogo proves healthy you move him to LD and trade Scandella for a pick or prospect. 

I do think MoJo plays center his first year here til Cozens is ready, betting Bogo goes to LTIR. Forward group especially on wing gets interesting but finally Sabres are starting to have options with some kids pushing for spots.

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7 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Johansson has played most of his career at center, especially when he played in Wash.

Don't believe rumors about the Sabres.  Jbot is very good at keeping his business out of the media.  I doubt wants to add someone as defensively challenged as Gardiner to our lineup. Also don't be locked in to a D slot just because someone is right or left handed.  Most teams in the NHL have guys who play on their opposite side.  Also Bogo's status is an unknown to us but not to Jbot.  Why would he move out Risto if he can keep him under the cap and he knows that Bogo isn't going to be healthy?  It's easier to send down Hunwick and Wilson to get back to the cap and keep your depth.

If Bogo proves healthy you move him to LD and trade Scandella for a pick or prospect. 

The bolded is untrue.  He was only a full time C his first 2 seasons.  7 seasons ago.  He has played C only sparingly since then.

With that being said, Buffalo’s play may still be to play him at C, I don’t know.

Edited by Curt

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2 minutes ago, Curt said:

The bolded is untrue.  He was only a full t8me C his first 2 seasons.  7 seasons ago.  He has played C only sparingly since then.

Betting regardless of this argument, he plays center here and from what I saw in the playoffs MoJo drives the play..  I think a line with him, Sam and either Vesey or Ollie can work well.

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1 minute ago, North Buffalo said:

Betting regardless of this argument, he plays center here and from what I saw in the playoffs MoJo drives the play..  I think a line with him, Sam and either Vesey or Ollie can work well.

Could be true.  I actually edited my post to add that he is still a possibility at C, but you were too quick.

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